Albany Falls Short for Immigrant NYers in Budget, Hurting NYS’s Chances for Future Success

Albany, NY—The New York State Legislature and Governor Hochul are poised to enact a $237 billion budget for FY25, including $2.4 billion for new arrivals. This includes a $64.2 million restoration for legal services funding, $324M million for the Supplemental Empire State Child Credit Payment for lower and middle income families who are currently cut out of the permanent Empire State Child Credit (ESCC), and $9.8 million for Adult Literacy Education (ALE). The Housing Voucher Access Program (HAVP), Coverage for All (C4A) and Language Access Expansion were excluded from the budget.

Murad Awawdeh, President and CEO, New York Immigration Coalition:

“Today, Albany delivered an additional $2.4 billion in support for our newest New Yorkers. The state legislature took a step forward by including more families in a one-time supplemental Empire State Child Credit payment, which will help New Yorkers struggling to get by during our ongoing affordability crisis. Additionally, the small increase in funding for Adult Literacy Education will help more immigrant New Yorkers fully integrate into our culture and economy. We applaud these inclusions but believe Albany could have gone further to secure the futures of New York families. 

“At a time when working families and immigrant New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet, the budget falls short. Despite the recent spike in demand for vital immigration legal services, the State made the decision to keep legal services funding at nearly the same level as last year,  failing to fulfill the mounting needs of legal service providers or the people they serve.

“New Yorkers are the State’s number one asset, and when we make intentional investments in them the rate of return is a thousand fold. Excluding the Housing Access Voucher Program, Coverage for All, and necessary investments in Language Access support and services is shortsighted. . This will force immigrant communities and working families  to continue to struggle, and will mean that many families will be unable to weather our growing affordability crisis to lay the foundation for healthy and productive lives. To build a strong economy and a truly equitable state, everyone that calls New York home must have the support they need to keep their families safe and healthy, and be given the opportunity to contribute to their communities and thrive. Albany must build on these investments next year to create a New York that truly works for everyone.”